Liverpool are set to rekindle their interest in signing Ryan Gravenberch after the midfielder dropped a massive hint about a summer move away from Bayern Munich.
The 21-year-old was of interest to the Reds last summer after making his name at Ajax. However, he instead made the move to Bayern Munich, signing for a lowly €18.5m (£16m) which is due to rise to €25m (£21.5m) with add-ons.
However, Gravenberch’s time in Bavaria has not gone to plan. He struggled to make an impact under Julian Nagelsmann, with his situation not improving once Thomas Tuchel took over as coach.
To that end, Gravenberch ended his first season with Bayern making just five starts in all competitions. That nightmare run saw him playing in just a total of 812 minutes, with only 561 of those in the Bundesliga.
Indeed, a perenial benchwarmer, Gravenberch appeared as a substitute no less than 28 times for Bayern.
Clearly for a man of his talents, the situation is not good enough. And as a result of his lack of game-time, talk of an approach from Liverpool has reared its head again in recent months.
But with Tuchel’s appointment failing to enhance his first-team chances, Gravenberch has now taken matters into his own hands.
With Liverpool lurking, the 11-times capped Netherlands star has hit Bayern with a massive ultimatum.
And the midfielder has made it crystal clear that he will move on if he’s not given any guarantees.
Liverpool target Gravenberch drops Bayern exit hint
“I expected to play more minutes than I did. I thought I would get some more chances,” Gravenberch told ESPN.
“It’s about just wanting to play, that’s the most important thing at my age.
“I hope this can happen at Bayern Munich, otherwise we’ll just have to look further.
“I told everyone that I don’t want another year like that. Of course you can’t always be in the starting XI, but you can still play regularly, you can get a lot of minutes.”
Liverpool are already reported to have lodged an enquiry with Gravenberch’s representatives over a possible move.
And while Bayern are yet to confirm if they are willing to sell, reports claim an offer of €30m (£25.8m) from Liverpool would twist their arm.
Speaking to RedMenTV, Sport1’s chief reporter, Kerry Hau, claims Liverpool have been on Gravenberch’s trail since February.
What’s more, Hau claims Gravenberch is “very interested” in joining the Reds.
“If you give that many interviews saying that you are not happy with your situation, I don’t think you are with your head at Bayern Munich 100 per cent,” said Hau.
“I know that they [Gravenberch and his camp] spoke in February with Liverpool and he is very interested to try and join Liverpool and go into the Premier League.”
Gravenberch ‘in a difficult situation’
Hau continued: “It’s a desire, but he also knows that if Thomas Tuchel says ‘I will count on you, 100 percent’, then there’s also a possibility he will stay.
“It’s a very difficult situation right now. They will speak and you have to communicate and have a clear plan, because last season he joined Bayern because they promised him to be a starter, to gain confidence and also the possibility to go with the Netherlands to the World Cup.
“In the end he didn’t play for Bayern Munich and he didn’t go to the World Cup. He became frustrated and already told some teammates he is not happy in Munich and would like to leave.
“It’s always a sign for a player that if he speaks in public that you are not happy, and it wasn’t only one interview, it’s five or six interviews.
“Bayern Munich know he’s keen to do something different if Tuchel doesn’t count on him as a regular starter.”
Both Fabrizio Romano and Christian Falk claim Bayern ideally do not wish to sell Gravenberch. However, the situation could change dramatically in the wake of a firm approach from Liverpool. And the chance to make a profit on the midfielder may well prove too strong to resist.